Monday, March 30, 2009

If, at first, you don't succeed....

Having finished my egg project, I decided to reward myself by starting the ornament canvas for my son that Gail Hendrix had painted for me. There's a lot of white background to the canvas, and I wanted to add a little texture as the letters and flying eagle mascot will be a solid green. I also didn't want to hassle with a lot of compensation, so I opted for a diagonal mosaic stitch for the background.

While visiting my LNS, I got the bright idea to try a new thread for this canvas: Vineyard Silk Shimmer. I'd been very pleased working with Vineyard Silk Classics, and thought the "Cloud" Shimmer would add a bit of sparkle--it has a very fine silver metallic thread running through it that would also complement the snowflakes in the background.

My first problem occurred in trying to thread the needle--definitely not a good omen! I don't own a needle threader for the simple reason I've never met a thread I couldn't coax through the eye of a needle. After a lot of mumbling, I finally got the needle threaded and started to stitch. What was supposed to be a diagonal mosaic stitch started looking like a bullion stitch-gone-wrong. At this point, I had what is called in our family a "Life's too short" moment, and put Shimmer to one side.

Luckily while at my LNS, I had also purchased a cone of Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #032 to finish off the wings of my Heart Angel. A cone is roughly equivalent to five spools--not a lifetime supply but guaranteed to keep me stitching for quite a while! Rethreading my needle with the Kreinik thread, I was soon happily setting stitches that did look like diagonal mosaic.

As you can see from the photo, it didn't take that long to finish the background! Then I worked the little cap at the top of the ornament with Kreinik #12 tapestry braid #002V and #002 in alternating vertical rows.

I'll go back and give Shimmer another chance on a project down the road--the thread is too expensive to just pitch! And it occurred to me that there may be a "grain" issue here, making it necessary to pay close attention to the direction of the metallic when threading the needle.


M&Co. said...

I loves the Vineyard Silk but I hates the Vineyard Shimmer. I think the Silk Lame is probably a better choice for that little bit of sparkle. The shimmer is doable but not worth the frustration.

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I like the YLI Ribbon Floss shimmer blend for these occassions. It has sparkle, and is so easy to use (and thread the needle). Also - I use the little triangle of paper as a needle threader for contrary threads.

Anonymous said...

Gail does wonders with college ornaments. I have one I had her design for my husband! This is looking super, even if the thread caused some trouble. I've started using Bohin needles from France. They make the holes a little larger and I love that.